Donovan Group Insights

What is Your School District’s Brand Story?

When asked about your school district, you may struggle to express its unique qualities beyond facts – your students’ academic achievement and your rank among other U.S. districts are easy statistics to refer to. As appealing as these may sound, they hardly make as strong a statement about the character of your district as a story might. To make your district stand out against others, you’ll need to define it as a brand to construct an image to portray to your audience.

What is a brand statement?  
A brand statement will help your audience understand what differentiates you from the competition, while still being concise and memorable. Slightly more detailed than a company or product tagline, the brand statement will still focus on your district’s core capabilities. So you’ve got good academic achievement – why? What’s the story behind your district’s success? Starting here will help you identify its strengths and construct a communicable image that will leave an impression.

Once you’ve built your district’s story, reduce it down to a simple statement that you can easily refer back to when starting a conversation. This simple phrase will represent both your image and your value.

Standing out
Why should parents choose your district over others? Your brand statement will tell them. Any superintendent can smear the district next door, and chances are the parent in question has already heard about the failings of yours. Rather than make a petty counterattack, address the qualities that make your school district the best in town. Quantified statistics like state ranking should be the evidence to support your claim rather than the bulk of your argument.

But don’t just leave it at the parents considering joining your district. Make sure that everyone currently within your district not only knows the brand statement but is periodically reminded of the value you continuously provide them.

So, why have a brand statement? To make a memorable statement about your district that tells a story. Use it to draw interest and differentiate you from the competition.

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